Zurich HB to be made completely car-free by 2050

Zurich HB to be made completely car-free by 2050

By 2050, the area around Zurich HB will be completely car-free, under new plans submitted by the local council (Gemeinde). Drivers will be forced to divert around the heart of Switzerland’s largest city, mainly through a massive underground tunnel that will be built under the station.

Area around Zurich HB to be pedestrian-only by 2050

According to the civil engineering office of Zurich, the area around Main (or Central) Station will be made completely car-free from 2050. They explained that they wanted to convert the area - which is frequently overloaded with cars - into a quieter, more pleasant place for the 750.000 people that pass through or use Zurich HB for public transport every day. The office told the Tages-Anzeiger that it should be designed to “meet the needs of the coming generation.”

Under the “master plan,” Bahnhofquai, Bahnhofplatz, Museumstrasse and Walchebrücke will be pedestrianised and redesigned. Only trams, buses and taxis will be allowed to pass through many areas, although the tram lines around the station will be completely revised to fit in with the new car-free area.


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Tram layout around Zurich HB to be completely redesigned

According to Vulkan and Van de Wetering, the two companies tasked with redesigning the station, the pedestrian area will feature wide boulevards along the river and large communal spaces near the entrance to the station, Bahnhofstrasse and Landesmuseum. Parts of Central tram stop will also be moved to the end of station bridge (near the temporary Coop), and the Bahnhofquai and Bahnhofplatz stops are expected to be redesigned to allow for more communal space.

To make the plan a reality, a large underpass is planned for cars, which will be built under the station. In addition, a “ring road” underground system is planned for cyclists, including two new large cycling parking areas underneath the main station.

Zurich to reveal its plan for 2050 next year

Planners expect the project around Zurich HB to be built in stages, with a full opening planned for 2050. Zurich’s “master plan” for the entire area is set to be finalised by lawmakers next year. To find out more about the plan, check out the official press release (in German).

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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